MARIETTA, Ohio – The No. 10 ranked Marietta College men's basketball team hosted Capital University in a battle for first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings Wednesday (Jan. 9) evening in Ban Johnson Arena. The Pioneers were defeated by the Crusaders 82-78. With the win Capital improves to 12-2 overall and 7-0 in the OAC, and with the loss Marietta falls to 12-2 overall and 6-1 in OAC play.
The first half opened as a back and forth battle and remained deadlocked at 8-8 at the 15-minute mark. Caleb Hoying and Kyle Dixon knocked down shots on the first two possessions of the game for Marietta.
Capital took an 11-8 lead, but the Pioneers responded with an 8-0run to take a 16-11 edge and force a Crusader timeout. The run was sparked by a pair of threes from Mike Hall and Anthony Wallace, and was capped by a fast break layup from Keith Richardson.
Out of the timeout, Capital scored five straight to tie the game at 16 points apiece. Marietta halted the Crusaders momentum with a three-pointer from Hoying. The Pioneers were able to stretch out a 27-20 lead as the combination of Hall and Wallace continued to score for Marietta, and the 27-20 edge forced another Capital timeout.
Once again, the Crusaders responded after the timeout and tied the game, 27-27, with just under five minutes remaining in the half. The Pioneers answered back with a 7-0 run with buckets by Hoying, Dixon, and Mason Lydic. Capital closed the gap before the half but trailed Marietta, 37-35 at the intermission.
The teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of the second half until back to back baskets from Kyle Matoszki and Richardson gave Marietta a 51-43 edge and forced a Crusader timeout.
For the third time, Capital went on a run after the timeout and cut the Pioneer lead to 51-50 causing Marietta skipper Jon VanderWal to take a timeout with just under 13 minutes remaining in the game.
Out of the break, Marietta answered with seven straight points to go back up, 58-50. The run was highlighted by a three-pointer from Jason Ellis off an assist from Richardson.
Capital responded with a 10-1 run that saw them grab a 60-59 edge with nine minutes remaining in the game, and forced another Marietta timeout. The teams traded baskets, and the lead on the next five possessions, but back to back buckets from Lukas Islay and Mel Shuler gave the Pioneers a 69-66 lead.
The Crusaders battled back and grabbed a 73-69 advantage forcing a Marietta timeout with four minutes remaining in the game. The Pioneers managed to tie the game at 76, but Capital scored the next four points taking an 80-76 lead with less than a minute in the game and securing the upset.
Marietta was led by Wallace as he had 15 points off the bench and shot 50 percent from behind the arc. Hoying added 14 points and six rebounds. Richardson pitched in with 10 points, three assists, and a pair of steals in the game.
Marietta will return to the hardwood Saturday (Jan. 12) when they travel to Ada for a game at Ohio Northern University. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.